In 1869, King Ludwig of Bavaria oversaw the laying of the cornerstone for Schloss Neuschwanstein on a breathtaking mountaintop site overlooking his childhood castle home at Hohenschwangau. The walls of Neuschwanstein are decorated with frescoes depicting scenes from many of Richard Wagner’s, operas, especially the swan-themed Lohengrin.

Obsessed with Wagner’s, music, in 1872, he began construction for a special festival theater dedicated to the works of Wagner in the town of Bayreuth. A few years later, he watched early versions of Wagner’s Ring Cycle operas there, though he avoided the public performances.